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Thinking Outside the Retail Box: Ford Comes to Fairlane

May 10, 2016

Thinking Outside the Retail Box: Ford Comes to Fairlane

Starwood Proves There’s More Than One Way to Manage Open Space

In the world of modern retailing, it pays to think beyond traditional box stores and devise new uses for underperforming or vacant spaces. When Starwood Retail Partners (SRP) purchased Fairlane Town Center in Dearborn, Michigan, they began formulating opportunities to repurpose 240,000 square feet of space formerly occupied by a Lord & Taylor department store and several other in-line retailers, into useable office space. 

Construction of the space was well underway when SRP offered Ford Motor Company — who was in the market for an office to relocate 2,000 Ford Land division employees — a leasing deal on the new, two-story facility. The lease was signed in April 2016.

“Our partnership with Ford will bring a built-in retail customer base to Fairlane,” said Ed Coury, Senior Vice President of Leasing for SRP. “With their offices located here on our mall campus, each Ford Land employee is a potential customer. Our focus now is on implementing new leasing initiatives to continue this positive traction, including adding more dining and entertainment options.”

Coincidently, Ford Land, a division founded in 1970 by Ford Motor Company, is responsible for the original master planning and development of the Fairlane community. The partnership between SRP and Ford reveals a shared passion for community development and economic growth, and aligns with SRP’s strategic vision to build and enhance properties based on the unique needs of the region, not on trends of the past.

“This is the best use of the space from both a business and civic perspective,” said John Albright, Vice President of Development for SRP. “Repurposing the former Lord & Taylor space for corporate use will bring a much higher rate of return than a retail tenant, and will provide a new source of vibrancy to the property and to the Dearborn community.” 

Ford Land employees will begin moving into their new office space in September 2016. 


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